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Indesign Magazine
Indesign Magazine

Salone 2017: Linking Minds by Diller Scofidio + Renfro for the ‘A Matter of Perception’ Exhibit

Very often good ideas are generated by closed encounters and long lasting collaborations. The goal for Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Linking Minds installation is to create an exhibition that lends itself to the creative process between two or more persons.



BY Sophia Watson

April 7th, 2017


The third edition of the ‘A Matter of Perception’ exhibition will explore the theme of Linking Minds. Ideas that grow from scratch through a mix of friendship, mutual trust, and experience, resulting in a wonderful final project.

Following this concept the courtyard of the Palazzo, the heart of the event, will be interpreted this year by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) – an interdisciplinary design studio that works at the intersection of architecture, the visual arts, and the performing arts.

Founded in 1979, the New York City-based practice established its identity through self-generated conceptual art and architecture installations before reaching international prominence with large scale cultural and civic projects such as the Blur Building at the Swiss Expo 2002, Yverdon-les-Bains; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Redevelopment, and the High Line, both in New York.

In 1999, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio received the “genius” grant from the MacArthur Foundation (the first given in the field of architecture), which noted that the studio’s work “illustrates that architecture, when understood as the physical manifestation of social relationships, is everywhere, not just in buildings.”

It is this fertile creative spectrum between art and architecture that is manifest in the canopy that spans the Litta courtyard.

“We like using ready-made modules – actually misusing them – for architectural purposes. In the back of our minds – and this might sound very peculiar – we have always wanted to use actual trousers as a module,” explains Liz Diller, founding partner of the design studio responsible for the 2017 Palazzo Litta courtyard ‘Off the Cuff’ installation.

“What’s attractive about this particular concept is that it is possible to use them as a tensile element, but also to actually fill the trousers – to use them as a pneumatic element that can contain air, just as trousers are normally filled with fat and muscle. Having two legs and one waist, they have an implicit structural logic, and we started to see that we could combine these units, connecting their end points to construct a net-like tensile structure.”

DS+R’s Courtyard installation will be supported by: Italian fashion brand Trussardi, the internationally leading supplier of integral lighting solutions for professional indoor and outdoor Zumtobel, manufacturer of structural elements Eterno Ivica, Redaelli and Giovanardi; furnishing by Emeco and Living Divani; engineering of the project by Maco Technology, Thornton Tomasetti and L’Observatoire International; structural and the leader in home appliances known for its pioneering role in innovation and design made in Germany, Gaggenau.

For the first time, both courtyards have been connected to a single exhibition, from the main courtyard – the site of the installation by Diller Scofidio + Renfro – to the Clock’s courtyard, creating a unique path to the Litta Theater, the most ancient and still open theatre in the city.


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